Saturday, February 28, 2015

Heritage From Elsewhere

Apple & Blackberry Crumble

Apple and blackberry crumble served with frozen yoghurt

I first encountered crumble at a pub in Selly Oak during my university days in Birmingham. Served warm with a side of vanilla ice cream, it appealed to my fondness of hot-and-cold contrasting desserts. However, poor iterations over the years have made me wary - sometimes the apples have been a tasteless mush, or a side of custard has been bland and flavourless. I'm sure I've been sampling it in the wrong places (the work canteen is hardly the place to seek out good food), and so I'm glad to finally have a recipe of my own to use.

The instructions below come from my partner, who I called up one evening after having bought blackberries for the first time without knowing what to do with them. I am happy to report I have since found out that blackberries can be eaten raw as is, but more importantly the conversation precipitated a request for homemade crumble from me. Surprisingly my partner obliged - apparently crumble was one of the desserts he grew up on - and the results are what you see in the photo above. The actual recipe is adapted from an original by Merrilees Parker, and is available on the BBC website.

Ingredients (for the crumble):
  • 300.00g plain flour, sieved pinch of salt
  • 175.00g unrefined brown sugar
  • 200.00g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Ingredients (for the filling):
  • 450.00g cooking apples
  • 10.00 blackberries
  • 50.00g brown sugar
  • 1.00 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1.00 pinch of ground cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl
  • Cut the butter into small pieces, and rub it into the flour and sugar to form a breadcrumb-like mixture
  • Peel and core the apples, then cut them into quarters before slicing them into thin slivers about 1.00 cm thick
  • Mix the apples, flour, sugar and cinnamon together and transfer to an ovenproof dish greased with butter
  • Scatter the blackberries evenly over the apples, and then pour the crumble mixture over the top
  • Bake for 45 minutes, until the crumble is browned as in the photo above and the fruit mixture is bubbling
  • Serve hot to warm with frozen vanilla yoghurt

Crumble ready to go into the oven

Additional Information
Obviously this works without the blackberries, and I'm sure you can experiment with the spices and accompanying fruit. In my experience, crumble has always been served with ice cream or custard, but I prefer mine with frozen vanilla yoghurt. I have no idea why, but ice cream just doesn't cut it and custard is obviously better had with fresh fruit (specifically banana). 

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